Many consider themselves “snow chasers” spending the winter season in search of the “perfect snow day.” Living in the High Country of North Carolina, I can guarantee that every day here is a perfect ski day.
There are still many that live in our great state that doesn’t realize you can ski in North Carolina, that there are seven ski resorts in the state. That’s not including the tubing resort of Hawksnest that was once a ski resort.
So what constitutes the perfect ski day? Any day on the snow!
You can’t wait for the perfect ski day, you get out there and ski. I have friends that tell me, “I only ski out West.” My answer to them is, “Oh yeah, how many days did you ski this year?”
“4,” they reply.
“I skied 118,” I state. Are the days perfect? Yes! Because I am out on the snow!
“But you can’t ski out West,” they counter.
“Really? I skied another 10 in Utah and Colorado, and guess what, I kept up with the locals just fine. In fact, there were a few days that I was better. You know why? Because my perfect Southern Ski Days sometimes include powder, snow, granular snow, ice, mud, dirt, grass, rocks, and I made it through every single day. A 65-year ski patroller once told me that if you can ski in the South, then you can ski anywhere. I believe that statement!”
But some days can be better than others, truthfully. In Randy Johnson’s new book Southern Snow, he puts together those days that us snow chasers love, the best-kept secret of the Southern Skiing. A storm rolls through the High Country, which starts with rain. Everyone else sees rain, but we watch closely at the temperature after the storm moves through the High Country. If there is a drop in temperature, then the storm will likely end with snow. So while it’s raining, we’re waving and tuning and hit the slopes while everyone else stays home and complains. The perfect ski day!
My perfect day is as close to the first chair as possible. We have an ongoing battle for first chair amongst my friends. The rush to the lift resembles a Who Concert! First thing in the morning means you get the best snow. Freshly groomed, untouched and super fast. We find that weekends are great from 9-11 or so when it gets a little crowded. We then retire to our favorite Mountain Momma’s slope-side house to watch the “flying squirrels” dive down the mountain. What’s a flying squirrel? Usually, someone from Florida, on rental skis, with their jacket unzipped, flying straight down the slope. The unzipped jacket makes them look like a flying squirrel! Most of the crashes at the bottom are harmless but fun to watch!
So get out your board, or your planks, and plan a trip to some Southern Snow. Pad in those perfect days, and include that trip out west, get the best of both worlds!
A side note to those visiting, how to get your perfect snow day. Plan ahead!
If you are driving, rent your equipment ahead of time. There are local ski/board shops that rent equipment, along with several along the way. If you are renting at the resort, arrive early!! AND I MEAN EARLY!
Ticket windows open at 830am for 9 am lift start. Get to the resort at 8 am and save yourself waiting forever like the people that get here at 9 am. If you are renting equipment, you have to have a lift ticket before rentals. Put one person in the rental line and one person in the lift line.
How do adults have fun on the snow with little children? All-day Ski/Board School. Snow School is one of the best deals of the High Country. For one set price, you get all-day lessons 830a-400p lunch, helmet, slope pass, instruction, skills assessment, and rentals included. Children are in age-appropriate groups and spent time on the snow in small doses along with playing with friends in the Snow School. Snow School makes the first experience FUN!
Beech Mountain Resort :
SnowCamp 3-6 years $135/weekday and $150/Weekend
SnowTraxx 6-14 years $100/weekend and $120/Weekends
Burton Learn to Ride 6-18 years $135/weekdays $150/weekends
Or course there is Snowflakes Childcare in the village.
The best part of these packages is the children let out at 4 pm. They can then show you their skills from 4-430p on the slopes!
They do sell these packages online, but they sell out very quickly.